SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Councilman David Alvarez launched his campaign for mayor of San Diego Monday, while his chief rival for progressive and union votes, former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, signaled her intention to enter the race.
Also, former City Attorney Mike Aguirre filed paperwork with the City Clerk's office indicating he will also seek to fill the final three years of disgraced ex-Mayor Bob Filner's term.
Alvarez and Saldana join about 30 candidates, including Councilman Kevin Faulconer and former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who have signaled their intention to run in the Nov. 19 special election.
Alvarez touted the values instilled in him by his parents as he grew up poor - and at one point homeless - in Barrio Logan. He said San Diegans share his values, but the municipal government doesn't always reflect them.
"The city has neglected the needs of neighborhoods and vital infrastructure, and has focused instead on giving taxpayer subsidies to well-connected special interests," Alvarez told reporters. "The city has been beset by corruption, conflict and scandal."
He said the upcoming election provides the choice between the conflicts and corruption of the past or moving forward to build a brighter future.
"We believe that San Diego needs a mayor with the right values and a record that reflects them," Alvarez said. "We don't need slick politicians, we need trusted public servants. We are people who stand by our values, who care about each other and come together to find solutions."
The councilman received an endorsement Friday from the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, which funded Filner's victorious campaign last year. He has championed union causes in the past, including July's initial passage of a prevailing wage ordinance.
Saldana made a presentation to the labor council, an umbrella group that represents the unions in the region. Fletcher has already received endorsements from individual unions for the city's white-collar workers and firefighters.